The first four courses will open for enrolment in July 2021 and will cost around £2,000LOUIS ASHWORTH

The University of Cambridge has announced plans to develop 50 online courses tailored towards professionals. 

The new programme of courses, Cambridge Advance Online,  will combine the forces of the University, Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Assessment. 

Cambridge Advance Online will offer short online courses which will enable learners to develop their skills and to specialise in “emerging areas that address global challenges.”

Each course will be taught by University of Cambridge academics and will involve a balance of academic-led seminars, collaboration with peers and individual study. The University stated that they “will reflect the Cambridge experience and values, with low student to tutor ratios and academically rigorous standards.”

Cambridge Advance Online will offer four short courses starting from September, with each lasting somewhere in the region of six to eight weeks. It is planned that 50 courses will be made available within the next five years.

The first four courses will open for enrolment in July 2021. They will cost around £2,000 and include Business from Bioscience, Product Technology Roadmapping, Bionanotechnology from Theory to Practice, and Research Commercialisation and Technology Transfer.

The University stated that this move was prompted by a need to enhance its digital offering in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and noted the “changed attitudes across society to online working and learning”. It added that Cambridge University Press is designing and developing the courses “to meet the needs of today’s professional learners.”


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Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope commented: “Although in-person teaching remains at the heart of a Cambridge education, the experience of the past year has further highlighted opportunities to enhance teaching with digital technology, and has only accelerated work already under way to expand our education offer through online learning.”

Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor Graham Virgo said that the courses will be as “interactive as [they] can make them”. He added that “an exceptional learner experience is key, so Cambridge Advance Online will be tailored to meet the needs of individuals”.